Just finished working!

by Rachel
(London)

Excellent site- hello.

Summary of events;
Not so much retirement but constructive dismissal! Although grievances were not upheld and dismissed I decided to take money and go. At this point I'd had enough of the process.

Excellent colleagues and union support and a good settlement but not a nice exit from my profession. I did not lose but it was most unpleasant to finish work life without a thank you for your work etc. The reason to get rid of me was financial. Another colleague is now in an unpleasant process. Neither of us has done anything wrong.

I am now retired (61) decided not to take up new work.

I am struggling with who I am and how to adjust to a new identity I've had no time to prepare for- if that makes sense!

It's been all a bit back to front as opposed to preparation and a dignified journey to retirement. There is a grieving process too probably.

Any similar voyages out there?

Best
Rachel

Comments for Just finished working!

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Just finished working
by: Anonymous

Thank you everyone!

Very useful range of response- I realise it's a more complex issue-one part addressed by Craig- I agree with your observations as I have always seen work as being 'in post' and as a manager this was important as if the job becomes the person it can often become distorted, particularly if doing the job for years.

However I also think it normal that as we spend so much of our day/ week at work the job and colleagues become a part of your life and identity, measure of achievement etc so leaving abruptly is even more challenging than retiring- at least there you have a bit of notice to prepare!

I do think you only experience the shock once though and as I'm near retirement age I will move my experience from getting the sack to retirement!

Many of your comments focuses on that journey which I find very useful thank you.

Betty reply
by: Rachel London

Hi Betty

Yes I have thought of voluntary work but am now not so sure I want to be involved with more of the same work. As a matter of fact, I'm just in the process right now of applying for a part time job but do you know I'm not so sure my hearts in it any more.

I feel as if I'm going 'back' to work as opposed to ' forward' to another job. Maybe this will act as part of the exit process.

I'm probably going through a bit of a guilt trip too and feel I ought to be working! Well if I fart around and miss the deadline maybe I'll have made up my mind.

Do you find voluntary work fulfilling and is similar work to your past employment.

Best Rachel

Empathy
by: Craig - Minnesota

During the course of my career, I witnessed several colleagues get hosed by their employer for little or no reason. It is, alas, all too common an occurrence these days. In my opinion, those who identified too strongly with their particular job suffered the most after the fact.

I would say that I enjoyed my employment, for the most part, but never once equated my work with my persona. Once I moved on from one firm, I never looked back. Work never held any sentimental value.

I could like my job, but, again, it was just that -- my job. I knew that my employer could dispense with my services at will -- a totally unsentimental fact of life, so my emotional investment was minimal at best. It worked for me yet I understand that not everyone can take their job so dispassionately. They suffer the most when their employer sacks them.

I suppose that can be seen as cynical, but I saw my real life as that which existed outside the workplace. That is where I could get hurt, but also where I had a better chance to defend myself.

I wish you well as you transition and would only recommend that you accept, not necessarily trust, any future employer.

The problem
by: Pete, UK

Hi Rachel,
I know exactly how you feel. I cannot say I have the answer or even a book I could refer you to. Perhaps you could write one? I would buy it! Why not ,at least, send an article to Wendy to publish online??
I really hope it goes well
Pete

Not ready for retirement either
by: Your Name/joanna/ CaliforniaLocation

After 32 years of loyalty and devotion, my husband was told "your replacement has been hired". they told him he could stick around and train his replacement if he liked.

Needless to say, he didn't. Corporation apparently hired a younger fellow at a lower salary. His company had heartburn about my husband and his sixty-ish wife (me).

Our medical was costing too much, apparently. Hubby is lost. He put his life on hold for the corporation. When they are done with you, they're done..


Worried Spouse

Who knew
by: Sandy

Rachel - for those of us who used to say "I can't wait until I retire", who knew it would bring feelings of loss and grief. Yes, many of us on this site have felt like you and posted that.

I think you will find all the comments to be inspiring. People are all so willing share their journeys and how they were able to deal with the loss of employment.

I think our generation contains a strong work ethic which does not go away when we decide to leave. Now the challenge is to find out what to do with all that energy. I'd like to make the world a better place and find that as my motivation now.

Keep on asking those questions and seeking your "water level"...

Stories just like yours
by: Sandy

Rachel - welcome to the site. If you look at the comments, particularly under depression/anxiety, you will see that many members of this site have gone through your journey of losing a job or voluntarily leaving a job and then feeling grief.

Conversely, there are many members who love the journey and/or quickly bounced back.

I found it very helpful to read each person's post and the related comments so that I did not feel so alone as I struggled in my journey. I appreciated all the support I received. So use this community as a source of honest, caring feedback and find the nuggets of advice that will help you. It is your journey, however, not exactly like anyone else's.

And don't judge yourself because you were "let go". It has nothing to do with you or your performance and everything to do with company loyalty. Once you get that out of your "baggage", you can begin to heal more quickly.

The very best to you.....

The World Is Your Oyster
by: Joe W.

In my research I find that most people don't plan their retirement until they are downsized or forced to retire. At 61 years of age there is no reason why you couldn't start your non-financial retirement plan right now.

When your no longer in a job situation reporting to a boss then YOU become the boss to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Joe W.

adjusting
by: Betty Audet

You spoke of skills but did not define them. It is highly probable that you should use these skills for good volunteer work. Volunteer work usually leads to new friendship and more opportunities to help others.

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